From Ian Lucas, Co-Owner, Public Service Request Inc.
Your Service Request Backlog that is. Unfortunately it’s true that the majority of Public Service Providers don’t have good processes in place for prioritizing, grouping, merging and resolving both internally and externally generated Service Requests, to overtake your backlog.
Step one is reorganizing your business processes so that all Service Requests are dealt with in a consistent, repeatable way. This is the hard part and should take advantage of your existing technology infrastructure.
Step two is establishing secure, private communications between Service Requesters (Public and Staff) and relevant Service Provider Staff. This communication should include automated notifications that let the Service Requester know what is happening to their request(s). Using change in status is the best way to do this automatically, supplemented by additional Service Provider Staff “actions” as required by your new business processes. It is really surprising how receptive the Public is to simply staying informed, even when you can’t treat every Service Request as the highest priority. It’s always the lack of communication that causes frustration, escalation, calls to elected officials, and inevitable disruption to planned remedial/resolving steps.
Step three is measuring the quality of the whole service delivery process across all Departments; trending of Backlog reduction; better identification of resource “gaps” for future budgeting adjustments; Departmental service level compliance (ratio of service delivery commitment to actual service delivery completion); Staff performance comparisons, used as a tool to continuously move towards best practices; seasonal trends in Service Request volume and type, very useful for reporting to Elected Officials; trending the cost of service delivery, by type; trending the real cost of poor quality in service delivery.
Step four is targeting weak business processes, and identifying specific processes where work processes can be tightened, including Staff training, elimination of redundant steps, and providing dashboard controls to continuously overtake your backlog.
Our company can help you deal with each of these steps to overtake your backlog. Please email us to start the discussion.